Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo slammed Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. for his remarks on the proposal to create a One Island Region.
In his letter to President Benigno Aquino III, dated January 6, 2015, he wrote, “For and in behalf of the people of Negros Oriental, I, as governor of the province, most respectfully write this letter to express consternation and indignation to statements made by Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. in a local Negros Occidental newspaper concerning issues related to the proposal to create Negros as (a) One Island, One Region”.
He was referring to the statements of Marañon, who was quoted in a Bacolod-based newspaper as saying, “In the end, it will be the president, not Degamo, who will decide whether the island region should be created or not”.
“Marañon has asked the president to create the Negros Island Region, composed of the Negros Occidental and Oriental provinces, through the issuance of an executive order,” the newspaper article added.
The article apparently got the ire of Degamo, who has consistently maintained his stand on the proposed Negros Island Region, that the people must be consulted first.
Degamo has repeatedly bucked the much-sought after executive order by the President, saying a feasibility study must be done first.
“Having the best interest of my people in mind, I have endeavored to keep an open mind on this proposal for an administrative change, requesting no more than a credible feasibility study by independent entities, considering all important aspects, if only to convince my people in choosing the right path in this fundamental change which will definitely affect the future of our province”, Degamo said in his letter to Aquino.
He added that Marañon’s “sweeping and presumptuous statement is (sic) no less a grave insult to my office as governor and as a representative of my people.”
“It is a clear assault on our sacred constitutional right of choice. This also clearly runs counter to your ‘Daang Matuwid’ campaign to change our attitude of governance,” Degamo also said.
He sought “assurance and protection” from the President that the people of Negros Oriental will not be denied the “sacred right of choice.”
Degamo is also demanding a public apology from Marañon, to be printed in the same paper where the statements were published, “to prevent animosity (and) keep mutual respect between his office and (mine).”
“Together with my people, I also demand that Governor Alfredo G. Marañon Jr. issue a formal apology in the same newspaper for such blatant official arrogance and utter disregard of my people’s sentiments,” Degamo demanded.
The letter was mailed Tuesday to the Office of the President in Malacañang Palace, Capitol sources said.
Marañon could not be reached for comment as of press time yesterday.*JFP